Going into prison? On purpose?

Each of us was designed with purpose. For those of us who believe our purpose is to walk with the incarcerated, the mission is simple: to transcend the literal and figurative walls of incarceration and do life on this side of heaven with the men and women who have made choices that resulted in detention.

Photo - Easter 2010 12

A man at Lebanon Correctional receives the Eucharist from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at Easter Mass in 2010.

As Catholics, we have a duty to our incarcerated brothers and sisters that begins with God’s Word (Matthew 25:36) and continues with direction from our leadership: Responsibility, Rehabilitation, And Restoration: A Catholic Perspective On Crime And Criminal Justice (www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/crime-and-criminal-justice.cfm). Our Corporal Works of Mercy tell us to visit the imprisoned—which we do at the three state prisons within our diocese, along with numerous jail and diversion sites. Our companion at every location: the Holy Spirit. In addition to walking directly with our incarcerated brothers and sisters, we believe we have a responsibility to our community to be part of the solution. Most men and women who are incarcerated return to society after imprisonment; that impacts families and neighborhoods. With God’s grace and your support, our returning citizens will see the world through a new lens. We believe that God can reach anyone….and that we who are not currently incarcerated don’t have the market on grace or mercy. Our mission is simple: be the change, walk with each other and be open to God’s blessing inside the walls.

Catholic Cincinnati Prison Mission MISSION AND SCOPE

  • Our mission is to support the incarcerated men and women of all levels of spirituality, theology and education so that their respective relationships with God and their knowledge of the Catholic faith grow deeper.
  • We welcome men and women of all denominations and transgressions who express and maintain a measurable desire to learn about the Catholic faith.
  • To meet the spiritual needs of our group, we will provide a variety of educational, liturgical and social activities; as well as opportunities to practice the applicable Sacraments of the Catholic faith: Eucharist, Reconciliation; Baptism and Confirmation through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

Expectations of Group Members

  1. Regular participation in the Sacraments and liturgical activity (such as Mass, Eucharist, Reconciliation, rosary).
  2. Consistent attendance in Catholic instruction groups.
  3. Completion of weekly homework.
  4. Participation in discussion/group projects.
  5. Active desire to grow in faith.

Commitment of Volunteer Team

  1. Consistent attendance to respective prison.
  2. Active participation in instruction, fellowship and planning
  3. Cooperative and patient attentiveness to the needs of the group.
  4. Faithful desire to grow personally in Christ and be stewards of God’s Word.